The modern world has provided us with a vast number of job opportunities. With new job possibilities, the competition for landing a desired job has increased. The reason behind this is that the Internet has provided both the employer and the job searches a chance to explore options and pick out the best ones. These internet innovations have also affected the recruitment process and the video interviews step onto the scene.

Video interviews have become one of the most popular methods of recruitment. The Institute of Student Employers has reported that 49% of their members used video interviews as part of their recruitment processes in 2018. It is quite possible that you’ll have to face video interviews if you haven’t already. 

How you present yourself in the interview will make or break your chance of getting your dream job. In the following lines, you’ll find everything you need to know about video interviewing. 

What Makes Video Interviews so Popular?

Considering that nowadays almost everyone has access to the Internet, video interviews have become more accessible. The quality of video and affordability of video software have inspired employers to assess candidates through video interviews.

When it comes to the advantages of video interviews, here are a few that we must mention:

1. Saves Time

Video interviews save time both to the interviewer and interviewee. In a survey of 506 companies, 47% use video interviewing to shorten the time it takes to make a hire. 

The interviewer doesn’t need to set up a conference room or waste time waiting for the candidates to come. All they need to do is to set up a time and that is all. 

The interviewees especially benefit from this type of interview because they don’t need to travel to the place of the interview. They can take the interview from the comfort of their home.

2. Eliminates Geographic Limitation

Candidates across the world have a chance to land a job they want. The location is no longer an obstacle when it comes to job interviews.

Employers who want to hire remote talent can see their personalities through video rather than just read the CV.

On the other hand, if a candidate is out of state at the time of the interview due to some unexpected circumstances, a video interview will give them a chance to get that job despite the distance. 

3. Eases the Tension

Since the interviewees can take the interviews from their home, that environment will make them more comfortable. 

Instead of the unknown space in the office building, they can comfortably sit in their room. The familiar environment will make them feel more relaxed and they’ll be able to present themselves in the best light. 

4. Shows the Basic Knowledge of Technology

Despite the fact that technology is everywhere, there are people who are struggling with it. 

Even though video interview demands the basic knowledge of technology, it still shows the employer that the candidates know something about working with technology.

5. Helps with Elimination

Video interviews can give a more precise criterion for narrowing down the candidates for the main interview.

Phone interviews or aptitude tests can’t give the right presentation of the candidates. Through video interviews, the interviewer can get a better idea of the candidates’ personalities.

6. Enables Detailed Analysis

Pre-recorded videos can be very useful for employers because they can re-watch it as many times as they need.

They can analyze the footage without any pressure until they feel ready to pick a candidate. 

Types of Video Interviews

There are two types of video interviews and you can come across either of them. Different employers prefer different types of video interviews and they have their reasons for it. It is best that you are familiar with both and prepare accordingly. 

1. Pre-recorded Video Interviews

pre-recorded interview

In pre-recorded videos, you’ll have access to questions in advance and record a video that addresses those questions.

You can have an impression like you are practicing for an interview rather than having a real interview. However, those who are intimidated by live interviews will prefer pre-recorded ones because they’ll have time to think about every question.

You’ll have to read or listen to audio recordings of interviews and then answer them one by one. The time limit can differ from 2 minutes per question to half an hour.

Some pre-recorded interviews just demand that you create a continuous video where you introduce yourself and address some usual interview questions such as why do you want that job.

2. Live Video Interviews

Live videos take place in real-time. You’ll connect with the interviewer and talk with him on the video call or conference. It is simply an in-person video that is conducted through video. 

The applications that are usually used for this type of video interview are Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and Zoom.

While live videos are more common, pre-recorded videos are a newer method but their popularity is growing. Digital marketers prioritize the pre-recorded interviews because they find that it is more effective when interviewees can record their interviews without any pressure.

What Do You Need for Video Interview?

Before you start thinking about the interview and how you’ll present yourself, there are other aspects that you need to consider for video interviews.

  • Have the necessary equipment – It is crucial that you have a quality camera and a mic so that you can talk with the interviewer without any disruptions. Choose the webcam according to your budget and preferences. 

An external camera has better quality. So if you can afford to buy one that would be great. If you need some recommendations, check the Logitech C900 series or Creative brand. Additionally, feel free to use a headset if you have one since that will ensure the quality of the sound.

  • Prepare a neutral background – If the interviewer sees a messy room in the background he won’t take you seriously. The best choice for the background is a white wall. Reposition the table with your computer or laptop if needed. In case you can’t do that, just make sure that the background is clean and tidy.

Having enough light is also crucial. Keep in mind that if the light source is positioned behind you, the interviewer will only see a silhouette. Aim for the natural light which will make the image clear. 

  • Eliminate noises – Loud noises and commotion in the background are unacceptable. Ask your family to give you some privacy during the interview so that you can have the interview in peace. Also, shut the windows so that the outside noise doesn’t interrupt your interview. 
  • Create a profile – For live interviews, you’ll need to create a profile on a specific platform. If you have an existing profile (on Skype for example) whose name isn’t adequate for professional purposes, it is better that you create a new one.
  • Check your internet connection – Your internet connection should be good enough so that there are no interruptions or breakage of connection. Always choose a wired ethernet connection rather than Wi-Fi. It is faster and it is unlikely that it will cut out abruptly. 

Test out the internet speed on websites like SpeedTest. If your connection is poor, better go to a friend’s house or to an internet café than to risk your interview process.

How to Prepare for a Video Interview?

Preparation is the base of a successful interview. As the saying goes “practice makes it perfect.” Here are a few tips that will help you prepare for your video interview. 

Research the Company

In order to convince the company that you are the right person for the job, you need to show them that you appreciate their work.

Google the company and look them up on social media. See what their beliefs, goals, and opinions are. Notice their most notable accomplishments and if there is an opportunity to mention that in the interview.

Make Notes

If you are having trouble with remembering some crucial questions or facts, make little notes to serve as reminders.

You can put the notes on your computer screen so that the interviewer won’t see them and you can casually take a glance and remind yourself if needed.

Practice the Commonly Asked Questions

You never know what they can ask you during the live interview but there are still some questions that come across at practically every interview. It can be useful for your confidence if you think about the answers to some commonly asked questions in advance. Marketers suggest that the most basic questions during interviews are:

  • Tell me a little about yourself?
  • What are your biggest strengths?
  • What are your biggest weaknesses?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • How did you learn about this job opportunity?
  • Why should we choose you?

For more commonly asked questions and recommended answers head to Inc blog post

Test Everything Out

Just imagine this scenario: you have been preparing for an interview for hours, you had your confidence boost, and you feel all set to tackle any question. The moment for the interview comes and then the problem pops out – the camera doesn’t work. There you have an example of an interview nightmare.

Eliminate such possibilities by checking everything out. Test the camera, tone, sound, and anything else that you need for an interview. For example, if the interview will take place via Skype, ask your friend to give you a call on Skype and tell you if everything is working. 

Some Final Thoughts

If you are an active job searcher you are bound to encounter a video interview. Having all this information about this type of interview will make you more prepared for what is to come. 

When you complete all the preparation steps and when you know the right way to approach the video interview you’ll feel more confident and your real personality and vast knowledge will shine through. That confidence can be your advantage compared to other candidates. 


Donald Fomby is a digital marketer and freelance writer. Currently, he works at PickWriters and his newest campaign focuses on promoting their affordable translation prices. Besides focusing his efforts on marketing, he is passionate about writing and sharing his knowledge with fellow marketers. He worked as a guest blogger for many renowned websites and he plans to further pursue his career as a writer and blogger.